Skip to main content

tv   Tonight From Washington  CSPAN  May 4, 2011 8:00pm-11:00pm EDT

8:00 pm
national security team, there's reasonable arguments to be made , the president felt very strongly and made the decision he made. yes? [captioning performed by national captioning institute]ts monthly news briefing. the democratic national committee elects a new chairman. washington journal, we will discuss terrorism following the death of the son of bin laden with congresswoman loretta sanchez. the legal mark will be on washington journal tomorrow. washington journal begins live at 7:00 a.m. eastern time. this weekend on booktv, the
8:01 pm
origins of government from early tribal societies to modern states of china and europe. an author pulled discusses translate -- his transformation from liberal to warrior. also this weekend, david cole field on the role of religion leading up to the civil world. look for the complete schedule at booktv.org. >> michelle bachmann is here, i understand. she is thinking about running for president. which is a weird because i hear she was born in canada. [laughter] yes, michelle, this is alex starts. >> which more than 6 million views, video of president obama's speech at the white house correspondents dinner is the most watched video on
8:02 pm
youtube for the past few days. watch it at youtube.com/cspan. >> janet napolitano testified at a hearing for the senate homeland security committee. she talked about preventing terrorist attacks following the death of osama bin laden. she talked about how to attract immigrants who overstayed their visas. senator joe lieberman shares the to our hearing. -- two-hour hearing.
8:03 pm
8:04 pm
>> it would be remiss not to say a word of thank you to you, madam secretary, and to all the people who worked with you in the department of homeland security and, by extension, to all of the people in the
8:05 pm
securities sector of our government, military intelligence, who performed so brilliantly and bravely and together to bring about the extraordinary result that was achieved on sunday in pakistan. the teamwork that was so pervasive in the successful assault on that compound in pakistan is precisely what this committee hoped for when we worked so hard first to establish the department of homeland security in 2002 after 9/11, and to introduce and bring forth the legislation that created the 9/11 commission, and
8:06 pm
at the recommendation of the 9/11 commission of reforming the intelligence committee. we are very grateful and very proud of the work that was done. since this is the first opportunity i have had to see you in public, i wanted to thank you and ask you to thank all of those who worked with you. i hope you'll say a few words about that in your opening statement. also, as good as we feel about what happened on sunday in pakistan and as much as we know that it makes us safer and the world safer, we also know that the war against terrorism is not over. the enemy is still out there and will continue to try to attack us here at home. to the extent you are able to in your testimony and opening
8:07 pm
statement, i would like to ask you a bit about the post- bin laden sense of haleh security. in all of its manifestations, the security of our borders is important. one of the great achievements cents 9/11 is the extent to which we have secured our borders against those who would come in to do us harm. the focus of these hearings, of course, has been on a different kind of border security -- that related to illegal immigration, but also concerned about the drug cartel violence in mexico and the extent to which it could come over our border into the united states. in these corridors, i want to thank you for all you have done.
8:08 pm
i think you have faced some really significant challenges, both in terms of all kinds of border security, and of national -- and of natural disasters. you have handled it with strength, effectiveness, and common sense. witnesses at the previous hearings on the topic of border security largely agree that the situation along the southern border has improved over the last decade. the best statistics available bear this out. the most commonly used is that apprehensions of illegal aliens along the border or down 73% since 2000, which is the most level in three decades. that is, of course, good news. we spent a few -- a good amount of time over the mattress and the statistics. they are just a piece of the picture and can be misleading.
8:09 pm
at the upper times, for example, the border control has cited increases in apprehensions as proof of progress and, sometimes, decreases in apprehensions as proof of progress. we believe we have to try our best to try and figure out how many people are attempting to come over the border and compared that to the number to succeed. i understand that the border patrol has been trying to collect this information through footprints, video footage, and sensors, but the methods or not one other% -- 100% to the challenge because we are trying to measure people we have not apprehended. i hope we can find ways to improve this and vote and
8:10 pm
consider making it public so we can more accurately -- this information and consider making it public so we can more accurately debate it. the focus on the southern border has often overshadowed other problems in our immigration enforcement system. one statistic which reveals such a vulnerability that i would -- that is very surprising to americans is that there are about 40% of a document -- undocumented aliens in the united states came into this country legally and overstayed the terms of their bases. in terms of the problems of illegal immigration, about 40%
8:11 pm
of the problem is not people to come over the border and into our country illegally, but those who come legally and stay. this undercuts the legitimacy of the law that we have about temporary visas, for instance, but it also threatens our security. the most illustrative number to me is the 9/11 commission to reminded us to find -- reminded us that the terrorist entered the u.s. illegally and overstayed their visas. someone was arrested in dallas for plotting terrorist attacks. eight new -- a new g.a.o. report
8:12 pm
says that anybody -- says that 36% have overstayed their visas. 10% of people convicted of terrorism related activities were illegal immigrants that overstayed their visas and became illegal -- were illegal immigrants -- were legal immigrants that overstayed their visas and became illegal. the reality is the d.h.s. program that is supposed to identify vises overstayed remains a troubled and ineffective program. officials of your department have told the committee that the u.s. process is of less than half of all potential overstays.
8:13 pm
g.a.o. found that the program has an overall backlog of 1.6 million potential overstays that have not yet been processed. part of that is you have not been given the support to do that, but it is a real problem. it is a crucial component of securing our borders and making our immigration system incredible and real to the law. to me, it is not acceptable that we are still unable to systematically identify people who overstay, so i hope you'll be able to talk about that and what the department is doing about it. one final point -- i hope we will be able to discuss this -- as we began a series of hearings
8:14 pm
on border security, i have set a goal of dealing with the current state of border security. how are we doing? are we keeping our borders secure? it has also become clear again to me -- let me finish that thought -- it is my hope that if we reach the level of finding out what is not working on the border security and fix it, we will not only achieve that good results, but it would be a preface to going back and considering reform of our immigration laws, which just about everybody here in congress agrees need to be fixed. the perception was border security could lead not only to better border security, but to building a political consensus to deal with the continuing
8:15 pm
problem of illegal immigration. it seems to me after listening to the testimony that the and inverses also true -- is also true. smart reform could also enhance border security -- it can significantly reduce the flow of illegal immigrants into america to the -- into america. i welcome your thoughts on that connection. thank you for being here. i look forward to your testimony. i am pleased to call on are ranking member, senator collins. >> thank you, mr. chairman. let me join you in welcoming the secretary back to our committee today. with the welcome news that
8:16 pm
osama bin laden has been killed, i want to join the chairman in thanking everyone involved, particularly those brave navy seals do so flawlessly executed the mission and the many other members of our military, intelligence, and homeland security forces whose names we may never know. this was, as the chairman has pointed out, exactly the kind of collaboration of our intelligence and operational capability that we envisioned when we reform our intelligence community in the wake of the attacks of 9/11. this successful operation demonstrates once again the importance of sharing intelligence information across the agency silos, the very
8:17 pm
opposite of the disjointed, pre- 9/11 experience. i appreciate that the department immediately issued a situational awareness alert to state and local haleh security and law enforcement officials on midnight sunday, sharing intelligence information, and including a call for tightened diligence. the system did not even exist prior to the attacks on our country. today's hearing, as the chairman has pointed out, is the continuation of this committee's focus on the challenges facing us on the border security. border security is critical not only to prevent individuals from entering the united states
8:18 pm
illegally for whatever reason, but also to stop at the border and these issuing points, or on inbound u.s. flights, those who are determined to hurt us. and despite the killing of osama bin laden, we must never forget that the battle against islamic extremists is still very much on. the first two hearings in this most recent series emphasized the challenges along the southwest border while earlier the committee was focusing on the northern border. when we consider the southwest region, we should pause to honor and remember the sacrifices of the border patrol agent who was murdered last december and the agent who was killed by members
8:19 pm
of the drug cartels in february. these fallen heroes and the terrific news reports of continuing to stream out of mexico rebuilt the brutality of these cartels. recently, nearly 300 bodies were discovered in mass graves just some 90 miles from brownsville, texas. just last month, fbi director robert mahler said, "cartels' transfer kilos of cocaine and marijuana, and gangs kidnap and murder innocent civilians, traffickers smuggle human cargo, and corrupt public officials lined their pockets by looking the other way." director mahler concluded that taken together these issues
8:20 pm
constitute a threat not only to the safety of border communities, but to the security of our entire country. this backdrop explains why many of us were perplexed to hear the secretary say in late march that security of the southern u.s. borders is very -- is better now than it has ever been and that violence from neighboring mexico has not aged north -- edged north. the union representing border control agents has countered that crime is indeed spilling over from mexico. they point to the murder of three border patrol agents by the cartel's in the last three years, the ranchers and other citizens who had been gunned down in border communities, and the phoenix area, which has
8:21 pm
risen to become a cartel related crime hot spot. the council concluded, "the u.s.-mexico border is unsafe and to say anything else is not true." data one secretary's apprehensions' on the border or certainly useful, there are contributing factors that should not be ignored as we scrutinize the numbers of declining interdiction. for instance, or some of the declining numbers simply reflecting a slow economy -- fewer people tried to cross over into this country? is the persistent cartel pilots deterring others from crossing? to put it bluntly, individuals will not be arrested at the border or north of its if they
8:22 pm
are too frightened to run a gauntlet of terror that may end in a mass grave. these and other factors should be considered as we evaluate the effectiveness of the administration's policies in addressing what is a very difficult issue. while the southwest border is much more likely to make the evening news, we must not forget the northern border. the chairman has pointed that out. it has been made on numerous occasions. according to a report released by the gao, the border patrol was aware of all illegal border crossings on only about 25% of the 4,000 mile northern border. the border patrol was able to make an immediate rest -- arrest
8:23 pm
on a portion of the border. the gao has observed that the terrorist threat on the northern border is higher than the southern border given the large expanse of area with limited law-enforcement coverage. that is why i believe that the administration's proposals have limited -- proposals are ill advised. i am glad they had been repeatedly rejected by congress. this program should be used to help secure both the northern and the southern borders. it helps find joint operations between the border control and state and local law enforcement that act as a multiplier in the areas that are likely to be left uncovered. to cite just one example, stone
8:24 pm
garden was instrumental in the arrest of eight smuggling operation. a police officer, a criminal attempting to smuggle $137,000 across the border. he was patrolling outside of his regular community. this individual would not have been caught by operation stone garden funding. we are not limited to the borders of themselves. the chairman has mentioned a gao report that is of tremendous concern for me that indicates that ice is only advocating about 3% of its resources to target individuals who are here
8:25 pm
illegally because they have overstayed their visas. they came legally in the first place, but now they are here illegally. it is an enormous number. it is more than one-third. it is between 33% and 40% of the number of people here illegally. another report by g l which examines the visa security -- by the gao which examines the visa security program -- the u.s. only has offices at 19 of the 57 high risk posts. the gao further found ongoing
8:26 pm
turf battles between ice and at the state department, which are simply unacceptable when it comes to dealing with the terrorist threat. i look forward to discussing these issues with the secretary today and i thank you for her appearance. >> secretary, napolitano -- secretary napolitano, thank you for being here. >> thank you, chairman lieberman for the opportunity to testify today. i have a more complete statement that i asked to be included in the record. >> without objection. >> i would like to begin with discussing a topic that is on everyone's mind before moving to the principal topic of the hearing. the operation to get osama bin laden was an extraordinary success not only for the united states, but for the entire world. i want to join you in commending
8:27 pm
the men and women of the intelligence committee, the armed forces, and are professionals who played an important role in bringing bin laden to justice. this does not and our counter- terrorism efforts. we must remain vigilant regarding dress up to the united states voiced by al qaeda affiliates or al qaeda-like affiliate's as well as the threats posed by homegrown, violent extremists. our security posture, which always includes a number of measures both seen and unseen, will continue to protect the american people from the evolving threats we face. we have taken a number of actions specifically in response to sunday's events. these include issuing advisories to law-enforcement
8:28 pm
entities. we have been reviewing all open cases of potential al qaeda operatives possibly in the united states in conjunction with the fbi. we are identifying any new trading rules of the should be instituted based on incoming intelligence. we are continuing to strengthen our recurrent studies for a visa, asylum, and other benefit applicants and recipients in cooperation with the intelligence community. we are putting officers at our airports. we are providing additional information to all air carriers. as you know, we have recently substituted for the old color code, which was commonly viewed
8:29 pm
as obsolete -- a new system known as the national terrorism advisory system to more effectively communicate information about terrorist threats. right now, we do not have any specific or credible intelligence that would lead us to issue an alert under this new system. realizing that under the new system the baseline is already elevated. in other words, the baseline assams a continuing and evolving terrorist threat -- a sense a continuing and evolving terrorist threat against the -- assumes an ongoing and continuing terrorist threat against the united states. we will issue an alert if we get intelligence that wants it under the new advisory system. to move on to the main topic up- to-date's hearing, i am glad to
8:30 pm
have an opportunity to speak about the southwest border. i gather i will now be speaking also about the northern border. unprecedented resources have been dedicated over the past 2.5 years and that has resulted in significant progress being made. i also want to discuss the metrics used to gauge the success. the administration has dedicated a historic level of resources to securing the southwest border in terms of manpower and in terms of infrastructure. we have increased the size of the border patrol to more than twice the size it was in 2004. i now have a quarter of all the personnel in the southwest border region -- more than ever. we did all but 3 miles of the pants and called for by
8:31 pm
congress. for the first time, unmanned aerial aircraft's capability covered the entire southwest border from california to texas providing aerial surveillance to personnel on the ground. they are being supplemented by critical security improvements at the northern border including additional agents, technology, and infrastructure as well as strong, serious, and strategic enforcement of immigration laws in the interior of the united states. as someone who has lived most of her life in border states and has worked with public officials are dealing with water-related issues since 1993, i can say from personal experience that the steps that have been taken constitute the most comprehensive and dedicated effort to strengthen border
8:32 pm
security that we have ever deployed. of the past two years, seizures of contraband has risen in all categories -- drugs, illegal weapons, illegal cash. illegal immigration attempts, as measured by apprehension of illegal aliens, has decreased by 36% in two years. they are less than one-third what they were at their peak. fbi crime statistics demonstrate that the crime rates in border communities have their work -- have remained steady or drop in recent years, continuing a decade-long trend. i am not the only one, senator collins, who has stated that the border is safer now than it ever has been. the border city mayors themselves have said that and are concerned that the misperception on this side of
8:33 pm
the border is interfering with their ability to attract jobs and economic development to their own regions. i must also say, i am perplexed why the union which represents some of our border patrol agents do not report the success that the border patrol has achieved over the past 2.5 years. i can only say that -- like i say, i am perplex. i will not go into that any further. the significant improvements would not have been possible without the bipartisan support of this congress, particularly, -- particularly the money passed last summer. i thank you for your continued support. nonetheless, we still face challenges. this is not a victory lap. we must continue to build upon
8:34 pm
the progress we have made. we remain deeply concerned about the drug cartel violence taking place in mexico. we know these organizations are seeking to undermine the rule of law, especially in northern mexico, and we must guard against any spillover effects in the united states. well our efforts have led to progress in every significant metric we currently have, we must focus on new ways to comprehensively measure results along the border. ultimately the success of our efforts must be measured in terms of overall security and quality of life along the entire border region. i had directed u.s. customs and border protection to develop a new index to comprehensively measured security along the southwest border and the quality of life in the region. as part of this process, we are
8:35 pm
convening independent, third party representatives to evaluate any such index. in developing these border metrics, it is important to keep in mind our ultimate goal, which is to make border security more secure and provide a basis for economic prosperity. that is like a new border security index will not only take into account traditional measures such as apprehensions and contraband seizures, but we will also incorporate indicators of the act of illegal cross- border activity on the quality of life in the border regions. these include factors like traffic agents -- traffic accidents involving illegal immigrants, and passed on property values and other measures of economic activity that can be impacted by illegal
8:36 pm
immigration. because defining success at the border is critical to how we move forward, our definition of success must meet several guidelines. it must be based on reliable numbers. it must tell the complete, transparent story. it must include the priorities of the border committees themselves. i look forward to working with this committee on this important issue. there are a number of other things i can't say -- i can say in response to the numbers of the gao submitted. suffice it to say, however, that many of those g l statistics -- g.a.o. statistics are not
8:37 pm
complete with respect to the efforts that have been undertaken. i will adjust that a little bit in the "q&a". thank you again for the opportunity to testify. thank you again for the opportunity to present the case before the security -- to present the case for border security in the united states. >> i appreciate the comments you made about the state of readiness of the department post bin laden's death. a few quick questions i hope will illustrate the seamless of our counter-terrorism efforts. i presume that, for instance, we know that the navy seals took an enormous amount of data from the compound in pakistan. i assume that as this material
8:38 pm
is gone over, anything related to haleh security will be shared immediately with your department. -- homeland security will be shared immediately with your department. >> it is being shared. quite good. a lot to highlight what i believe i heard you say. although you have not raised the national threat advisory system alert -- you are right. it is important to put out that 1 cents these changes put into the system last week have us always at a state of alert. the judgment you make in changing that would -- would be to raise that to an elevated state of alert and then to end and in that state of alert. >> we have a counter-terrorism advisory board comprised of all the members of the intelligence community to are constantly
8:39 pm
reviewing intelligence coming in as it relates to the homeland. they analyze it for whether a threat is either elevated or is so specific and credible that it actually reveals an eminent threat. at that point, an advisory would be issued. we would tell people as many facts as we can. it tells them what they can do to protect themselves or their families. it tells them what they can do to help us with regard to the threat. for example, we may be looking for certain types of vehicles or other things. it tells them where they can go to get continuously updated information. rather than the colors, which did not communicate any information. this is designed to communicate information. >> if you do not have specific
8:40 pm
or credible evidence and have not read -- have not elevated, does not mean the department has not taken additional steps cents bin laden was killed. you indicated that there was increased security at the airports. i do not know if you mentioned at seaports, but i would imagine that is included. is that correct? >> that is correct. we have also, at airports in particular, we have taken additional efforts at our borders. as i mentioned, we are also going back and reviewing all of the pre-existing intelligence with respect to open files against the united states. >> i appreciate that. we are reassured to know that some of the materials that were seized at bin laden's compound
8:41 pm
are already being shared with the department. my impression that bin laden himself continued to be focused on attacks on the united states of america, on our homeland -- it may be that the information gathered by the seals from his compound could hopefully prevent such attacks. let me focus on now on the direct question that we originally were going to handle, which is border security. we are operating in a political context. i mean that in terms of the body politic. we are dealing with how we can form a consensus to both improve the security at our borders -- but as we said, the equation that people have articulated that our immigration system is broken, but we are never going to have a no support for
8:42 pm
immigration reform until we can say that our border is secured. i want to deal with that part of it first. the security fence act of 2006 required that the department of haleh security achieve operational control of the border -- department of homeland security achieve operational control of the border. any unlawful entries into the united states -- >> at a recent colloquium, you all agreed that total operational control over our border is effectively an unreachable goal, that we are never going to be able to fully seal off the border from all illegal activity. if that is correct, and i
8:43 pm
suspect it is correct, i think we have to ask ourselves, and i am going to ask you now, what is an achievable goal in terms of securing our border? i ask that both because we have a responsibility to secure our border, but also because, hopefully, it will help us decide what level of border security we need to achieve before we can go on to deal with the problem of immigration reform. >> mr. chairman, i think two things. one is that is why we have gone back. operational control is an archaic term. that was testified to by some of the other witnesses you have had in this area. it is a limited term. it makes for a sound bite, but it does not reflect the reality of what is happening at the border. but the fact of the matter is that we need a more quantitative
8:44 pm
and qualitative way to reflect what actually is occurring at the border. that is what i have directed someone to prepare. but also, mr. chairman, there is a linkage between immigration reform and the border. they are interrelated. the notion of this kind of sequencing does not reflect the reality that with immigration reform, some of the underlying laws involving visas, temporary workers, those sorts of things -- if you deal with the legal immigration system, that also has an impact on what is in the illegal immigration system. this is a not that we must untie, looking at all these things together. >> i take it from what you are saying, as an example, we may be
8:45 pm
able to reduce the flow of illegal immigrants by altering immigration laws. for ss, pervert -- providing for temporary workers visas or raising the temporary cap on visas allow for people coming into the country. >> indeed. an example would be for agricultural worker bees is, but there are many others as well. >> thank you for the announcement you have made this morning. i think it is significant. you have directed customs and at border protection to come up with a new index, a new metric for measuring or security. they will bring in outside experts to consult with them. i think that will really help to inform the debates and allow us
8:46 pm
to set some goals that are achievable, and also create a foundation for moving on to the related question of immigration reform. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we are moving as quickly as possible on this. it is a bit of an onion to peel when you actually look at it. one of the things we want to know, for example, how many people have been deterred or prevented from crossing illegally by the measures we are taking? it is very difficult in all areas, but especially here to measure a deterrent number to get the denominator. we have to have other factors we looked at before we can reasonably say and reasonably extrapolate that we now have a safe and secure border region that also facilitates the flow of legal commerce and trade and
8:47 pm
tourism. >> thank you, very -- thank you very much. senator collins. >> thank you, mr. chairman. let me start with the border security issue. you made a comment that you were expected to talk about the southwest border, but wanted to talk about the northern border. title of this hearing is securing the borders. our witness letter made very clear we were thinking about the entire border. >> i am ready to do that. >> i do not want you to have a misleading impression. let me just start with the december gao report that looked at a number of issues. it was in this report that the gao quotes dhs as reporting that
8:48 pm
the terrorist threat of the northern border is hired giving -- given the broad expanse of area with limited law- enforcement present. the gao also went on to say that dhs reports networks of illicit criminal activity between the two countries. the vast majority of trade and travel between the u.s. and canada obviously is legitimate. we do not want to impede that legitimate travel and trade, but that is one reason i am such a reporter of the operation stone garden. it allows for joint operations that are a multiplier for the federal government as well as helping state, county, and local law enforcement. i truly do not understand in light of d.h.s. own assessment
8:49 pm
that the terrorist threat is higher on the northern border and that there is significant criminal activity. why is the administration year after year trying to restrict operation style garden to just the southern border? >> if i might discuss the measures that are ongoing at the northern border that are not captured in the december gao report. the northern border is different from the southwest border in the sense that you have some big urban areas where a lot of traffic goes back and forth and then you have a huge expansion of farm land as has been testified to. our design for the northern
8:50 pm
border is different than from the southwest border. our strategy is different as well. it is much more technology dependent. we are adding more systems up there that can detect low flying aircraft. also, our partnership with canada has evolved over the past months so that we have the prime minister and president obama themselves announcing a joint vision for a perimeter involving canada and the united states and greater cooperation with canadian law enforcement on both sides of the border. that is going extraordinarily well. for example, we are looking at being able to integrate their own radar feeds into our system as well. with respect to stone garden, there are some stone bargain
8:51 pm
moneys that have been allocated to the northern border. but in terms of looking at where the need is greatest -- i only get so much -- measured by what the local law enforcement is asked to do, the overtime, the maintenance of vehicles, those sorts of things, stone -- i will acknowledge that the priorities have gone to the southwest border and probably will continue to do so. >> i understand the premise that the southwest border is why we have so many more border agents, but this is a program that is not an expensive program that allows you to do more than you otherwise could. it is d.h.s. own findings that
8:52 pm
warn about the terrorist threats from the north. in my remaining time, let me switch to a different issue. that is the security program. i've been watching this program for many years. since 2002 when it was first established. the fact is, we are not making much progress. the ice personnel have only been deployed to 19 of the 57 highest risk state department post around the world. this program is an example of one where we can stop people from getting visas in the first place. it is an example of the kind of coordination you have advocated and it helped advance across department lines and that this committee has always promoted. but, to me, it is very
8:53 pm
disappointing that the president's budget request is unchanged from last year for this program. are you going to be able to cover more of these high risk post with that budget? >> one of the things we were asked to do is to see if there are current functions that we could continue to perform or even an large if we could figure out another way to do them. the visa security program, as you acknowledge, requires an agreement with the state department. i will acknowledge there have been some issues there. i think we are working our way through them. the other thing i asked i asked to do is to figure out a way we could do the same double checked service on a visa remotely by using some of the i e-systems we
8:54 pm
have in place. i believe this year we will be able to do that and expand our visa eyes and ears in that fashion. >> thank you. >> thank you very much, senator collins. the next senator will be senator tester. >> thank you, mr. chairman. it is always good to see you, madam secretary. i also very much appreciate the statement you made earlier today when we were talking about bin laden -- this is not a victory lap, this is about getting a job done and moving forward. it is about some very difficult decisions that were made. you were part of that and you need to be credited for that and i thank you. the other thing i wanted to talk about real quick -- the ranking member talked about this a lot
8:55 pm
-- is stone garden. i do not want to dwell on it a lot, but i do want to simply refresh on what you just said. there would be stone garden grants available to the northern border? >> there is still money available, senator, but they are not in the same amount. >> i understand that. when we are talking about stone garden and limited amounts of money, where you able to take into account as the director, as the head honcho, the potential money that the stone garden money could save to expand that program? are you able to do that within your budget? >> if yes. that is an analysis we are using for all of our funding. i would say, senator, that one of the things we've been doing
8:56 pm
over the past weeks is looking at the budget agreement for 2011 which cut a lot of the grant funding that we had for anti- terrorism and looking at how we prioritize. how do we make sure money is going to where it can be best used to eliminate risk? we will do the same for stone garden. >> would it be fair to say, or at least can i get your reassurance -- when 2012 comes around, there will be dollars to be able to develop partnerships with local law enforcement agencies of the northern border. >> it is fair to say that there will be dollars available, but the whole universe of grants if you add them up is less than last year. >> yes. we may not be able to help with that.
8:57 pm
i was pleased that d.h.s. announced a round of grants in a demonstration program. it is important for people to communicate. as we move forward, is d.h.s. looking to expand upon their program? >> we have a different funding for an opera ability. the answer is yes. i would also say that this is an area where the northern border is a particular issue because of large amounts of world territory that has to be covered. -- rural territory that has to be covered. we have ways to deal with the urban areas of the country, but
8:58 pm
the rural areas are more difficult. >> you talked about harper and obama having a meeting and a joint vision -- is there anything being able to dine to share information on visa overstays in that regard? >> that is something we had discussed. there is nothing concrete at this point. i have met with my white house counterpart several times about this. let me get to a point where gm said only 3% goes to the set overstays. that is only looking at one account. the fact of the matter is, a lot of our programs capture a visa
8:59 pm
overstays. secure community picks up individuals that had been arrested. the 3% is not really an accurate reflection. >> i understand that. it is difficult, but i will tell you that folds, in illegal -- , in legally and refused to go home. anything we can do to help you in that regard to remind them to head back is incredibly important. i recently called for an investigation against a university that manipulates immigration laws to bring people in. it is a backdoor. are you aware of these schools? as the president taken any steps to remedy that? >> yes. we have been a initiative on the sham university issue.
9:00 pm
we have dealt with several of them. absolutely. >> thank you for that. i appreciate the work about allowing planes to land with fewer passengers. the director of the airport is going to be coming to town and meeting with the commissioner and other senior folks, and i hope that will be a productive meeting. i don't ask this as a question, but just appreciate your efforts in working together to solve the problem. i think it is a big problem, from my perspective, and it can be handled at year-end giving guidance to focus on the ground. >> we will work with the great falls airport authority. if they want to lend additional
9:01 pm
passengers, they have to do additional things at the facility. >> i think it can be worked out. >> we will try, absolutely. >> you talked about an elevated state of alert, which is what we are on now, correct? >> we are always on that, yes. >> was increased after the events of sunday? >> i know, we did not issue a separate advisory, except that we began immediately putting out intelligence products to state and local law enforcement, transportation authorities, and the like said that if they wanted to take any individual actions, they could do so. >> i had to fly into minneapolis sunday night to get here earlier than i normally would through montana, and it seemed to me
9:02 pm
that tsa was in a more elevated state. i saw people walking around in places that i never noticed them before, the lines were much longer. at the thought the job being done with security was more thorough. did they do that on their own, did you give them instruction? >> that is correct, senator, we increased resources for a few days until we could see with the intel outcome was. >> very good. we very much appreciate your leadership and it is good to have you in front of the committee. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman, madame secretary, welcome back. i wanted to pick up on the increased threat level. i want to understand why we are not increasing the threat level. that sounds like we will only
9:03 pm
increase if there is a specific threat? >> if there is a specific credible intelligence of a threat, yes, an advisory will go out. it can be elevated or eminent. the thought behind this, this was the product of a bipartisan committee shoulcommission. there were a number of experts on the commission. the idea is instead of just putting out a color, give people information. an advisory itself, if we elevate it, maybe it restricted to a particular transportation sector or a particular area of the country. they are designed to expire on the road in two weeks so we cannot continually at advisory upon advisory, with the fact that nobody pays attention and more. >> but if you increase the
9:04 pm
threat level, that implies certain actions are being taken, correct? >> there would be certain actions taken with increased threat levels, yes. generalizedwas a increase in the threat level, it would be in reaction to the successful capturing, killing of osama bin laden, correct? i don't quite understand why it we would not be increasing the threat level, at least for a short time. >> this is an ongoing evaluation. at the time of the capture of bin laden, as of yesterday, there was no specific credible threat, specific retaliation, other than generalized there may be something that happens. in that general sense, we already ask people to help if they see something, to say something. we already have police department's looking at
9:05 pm
suspicious activity, we are have resources deployed at areas that have been of particular interest, historically, like aviation. that already happens. the advisory system is if we need to elevate a particular area, a particular sector of the country, that goes out and we provide as many facts as we can and we provide what we want people to do, how they can help the government, and how they can stay informed. if you go to disasteralerts.gov, there is a template for the advisory system and a briefing on how it works. i think people i still making that adjustment. >> last time you were before the committee, i was trying to determine what we need to do to secure the border, and if it was
9:06 pm
a problem with resources, what it would cost to secure the border. your answer was that we have enough resources. taking off from that, do you have in your mind at multiple step process? what are your priorities in terms of resources, what steps are you going to take to get the border secured? >> they will be different between the southern and northern borders. they are different areas to secure. it is a combination of manpower, technology, and infrastructure. we're constantly looking at a number of measures to adjudicate whether we are getting results from the investments we are making. when you ask if we have enough resources, i realize and we all realize that we are in an era of depleted resources. i have to figure this out, recognizing in all likelihood
9:07 pm
there is not another $600 million that will come my way for the borders. how we make best use of what we have. we insist on accountability, producing results, and now i am assisting that the cdp develop a better way to measure those results. >> i am confused. do you have enough resources or don't you? >> i believe, senator, with the resources we have and the resources the president has requested, which is to sustain the record level of resources at the border -- we have never had this kind of level of resources. the key is not more, a sustainment. -- the key is not more, it is sustainment. we will be able to continue our efforts of securing the border. the question and the challenge for the committee will be, and for the senate, making sure that
9:08 pm
we have a fy 2012 budget from which to work. if we have a continuing resolution, we will have a problem. >> there is an awful lot of numbers, a lot of data. turning that into real information, is the concept that we will have an overall single number index? will that be by region, for the entire country? what is the threat assessment and securing the border kind of index? >> i am waiting for acp. they are in this process, to come back to me. i believe it is conceivable that we would have two different indices, for the north and south, because they are different. the index may be a range, which would reflect overall efforts at the border. what i know for sure, looking at
9:09 pm
apprehensions' alone does not cut it. using operational control also does not cut it. we need something more qualitative and quantitative that you can use allocating resources and we can use as well. >> the southern border, there is a vast difference in level of success, and would you not want to have a different indexes? >> we anticipate sector by sector. there is a big difference between the yuma sector, in which there is a lot of military land, and the tucson sector, which is the busiest and the one where we're putting the most resources. even in one state, we see a difference. that is why i think any kind of index would probably have to reflect the range. >> ok, thank you.
9:10 pm
>> thank you very much, senator. just to come back to the threat level, and we are all getting accustomed to the new system -- although i think it is an improvement -- and a circumstance -- let me put it this way, we are always on alert. the question is, do we raise it to elevate it? right now, after bin laden was killed, it is elevated, but there is no specific and credible evidence of a threat, but you have taken additional steps. just for clarification, when you go to elevated, if you did, does it mean the government is taking additional steps or that you are calling on the citizenry to be more alert, or both? >> both, and it also corresponds to the additional efforts by
9:11 pm
state unless local responders as well. in instituting the new system, one of the things we did was work of a lot with police departments around the country as to what elevated would mean. we're always at a state of alert. we are always calling of the citizens, and it is every easy to remember slogan, "if you see something, say something." our actions are predicated on the fact we are always on alert. i will also say that the decision to raise or not to raise is based on recommendations from the counter-terrorism advisory board, which is comprised of all of the intel community and is constantly reviewing what is coming in. right now, given the material obtained from the compound, they are meeting at least once daily
9:12 pm
to go through everything to advise me if we should raise it. >> that is really important, both a clarification, but i come back to the fact that our system is really working seamlessly now so that you are getting real time information from the material seized at bin laden's compound in pakistan and you are evaluating it every day to determine whether you see anything in that information that would lead you to raise the threat level? >> more precisely, the counterterrorism advisory board is receiving that. other information as well. it constantly comes in. they're constantly analyzing it. but they are meeting, instead of meeting sporadically, they are meeting regularly in an ongoing fashion in relation to what happened on sunday. and if they advise me that,
9:13 pm
secretary, this is what we have, and we think this means that you should elevate the alert system that are exists, then i will act. at the o.k., that is very good to hear. i think the system is working as we would want it to. that may go to the visa overstay question, issued by gao. i know that you have taken issue with one segment, the accuracy, the clarity of the information. the most troubling part, the report said the u.s. visa program has a backlog of 1.6 million potential overstays that were identified, but which have yet to be processed. let me ask you to talk about that. to the best of your knowledge, is that accurate? and how are the potential overstays identified under the
9:14 pm
current system? >> let me, if i might, explain what is happening and what we are doing to improve the system. >> sure. >> these that overstays are another form of illegal immigration. once you overstay, your and the country illegally, and you have broken the law. just as we do with people who have crossed the border, and with a visa overstays, we appropriate enough money to remove about 400,000 people per year from the country. that is probably a small percentage of those who are in the country illegally, total. >> and that 400,000 is specifically on the overstays? >> no, total. >> if you really look at what it costs to remove somebody in the
9:15 pm
country illegally, we get enough money between ourselves and the justice department to remove about 400,000 people. so we set priorities. who are the ones we really want to get? we want to get those who fall within our guidelines for been possible national-security threats. that is number 1. number 2, we want to remove those who are fighting criminal law, -- who are violating criminal law, in addition to the immigration laws, and we want to third deal with those who are fugitives. and then at the border, this is not so much a removal process, but deal more effectively with those we pick up right at the border who are gaming the system: back-and-forth. -- who are gaming the system going back and forth. when we get a visa overstay, and there are systems now that revealed to us that somebody has not -- is a possible overstay,
9:16 pm
the first thing we look at is who of this fall within our guidelines of being a possible national security threat. i don't want to say in a non classified setting what those guidelines are, but all of those individuals, 100% of those individuals are set to another -- are sent to another unit within ice to be vetted and found. >> under the current system, what is the typical way that you find out, the department finds out that somebody has overstayed their visas? >> it can be a number of ways. one is if we have no record e of exit. this all started because of air, not land crossings but air.
9:17 pm
we can now matched or no match about 80%. 89%, 90%. the question is the remaining 10%. if they fall within our national security guidelines, 100% of that category would go into the ice unit to be found and investigated. the second category are those who have filed a criminal law, or a danger to public safety, -- who are a danger to public safety, and we do a similar process. there we are identifying those who are in the country illegally to are also in jail. >> what can we do and what can we do to help you reduce the backlog of those who are identified as potential
9:18 pm
overstays, but not processed? and also, of course, to more effectively identify people either prior to coming and who seem to be coming in with the attention of overstaying and do better at finding the people? this is a larger question, but if you take the 40% number, and you take the lower number that we hear of estimates of the legal immigrants and the country, 10 million, that means 4 million people are here because they came and illegally and overstayed their visas, and as you said, once you overstay your visa, you are as the legal as somebody who illegally crossed the border. if somebody hires you, that is illegal. how can we deal, a better deal with this part of the legal immigration problem? >> -- how can we better deal
9:19 pm
with this part of the legal immigration problem? >> we have to set priorities. we get enough money to remove 400,000. now we have to go from 400,000 to 4 million. that is why setting prosecution priorities is key. the plain fact of the matter is most of the visa overstays are here illegally, but they are being drawn because they can work here. that is why border security and emigration reforms are so connected, because the plain fact of the matter is a number of these individuals, if they could get a different kind of visa or longer visa tied to implement, he would not put them in that 4 million category. >> i think that is fair. i just have one more question.
9:20 pm
who are the people, but do we know, who are more likely to overstay their visas and become illegal immigrants? are they coming from different parts of the world, it even though their motivations may be similar? to work here or rejoin family or the like? >> that is a question i don't know the answer to. you are asking if the demographics are different. >> exactly. we assume that most of the illegal immigrants are coming across the southwest, coming in illegally. they have come across the southwest border, and probably a lot of reasons for that. the interest in coming over is greater, by far, then the number of legal fees is that bring them and. >> the other thing -- it is by
9:21 pm
far greater than the number of legal visas that bring them in. >> the other thing is they're coming and for employment or they are related to somebody who has come into work. all of the systems are designed to really deal with the interior enforcement issues would help. e-verify helps. all of these things get put together. increasing the penalties on employers who consistently higher a legal labor -- who consistently hire illegal labor and adjusting the cases would be helpful. then you are dealing with the demand pool of illegal immigration. as well as the supply. >> thank you. senator collins? >> madam secretary, i want to
9:22 pm
return to the issue of the threat level. as i listened to my colleagues questions about that and i thought about the comments of the director of the national counterterrorism center, that we can expect the temps to retaliate -- that we can expect the temps to retaliate, i am wondering why we did not raise the threat level? it seems to me that until a further assessment is done of the intelligence, including a full exploitation of the materials and data seized at the compound at which osama bin laden was living that it would be prudent to increase the threat level, not to the highest level, but it has been revamped
9:23 pm
and a way that i believe makes sense, but to acknowledge that we are in a situation where we are at risk. i am curious why, given the comments, the public comments, given that we have yet to do a full exploitation of the materials from the compound, and given the fact that we are still doing an assessment of the reaction to osama bin laden's death, we are not taking timmy would be a prudent step of increasing the threat level. it -- we are not taking, to me, what would be it. instead of increasing the threat level. >> we are providing additional intel products to the law- enforcement community in the private sector so they can take
9:24 pm
whatever actions they deemed prudent. we are constantly evaluating whether we should issue a special advisory and they are part of the group that makes that recommendation. on an ongoing basis, it may come to the point that we say in this area, and for this, we will issue an elevated alert. but i think we want to be careful. we don't want to say because we suspect, reasonably so, at some point there may be retaliation, that we go ahead and make the nation on an alert status without more information than we currently have. that could change. the change tonight, it could change tomorrow, but the whole idea of the system is to say we are always on alert. the threat of terrorism is always with us. we're never going to be without it, even with the death of bin
9:25 pm
laden. we have other members of al qaeda, we have aqap, aqim, and that does not even count the homegrowns that we are concerned about from the lawn will stand point. that does not mean under the new criteria that we issue an elevated threat now. as intel comes in, as things are digested, and that is happening on a real-time basis, that may well be adjusted. but i think for the nation to keep paying attention to these alerts, we want to make sure they are tied to something that is specific. >> i appreciate your explanation of the process. from my perspective, it still seems. to temporarily, at least, elevate the threat level -- from
9:26 pm
my perspective, it seems prudent to temporarily at least elevate the threat level. you just mentioned the lone wolf attack, and that is an issue this committee has devoted countless hearings to the past few years. as far as the fort hood investigation and report, we called upon the administration to create a strategy to ensure a unity of efforts among federal departments and agencies, and the development of a specific strategy to counter radicalization within our country. if you look at the plots over the past two years, they have domestic plots by people inspired by out qaeda, but not, in most cases, directly
9:27 pm
linked to out qaeda. -- not directly linked to al qaeda. i would appreciate an update on this federal strategies to counter domestic radicalization and ensure a coordinated effort. >> yes, we have looked at what we do to prevent somebody who has been radicalized successfully carrying out an act of violence. we have concluded the best way for us to intervene is to support through grants and other programs local police, neighborhood policing strategies that we reach out to the community, in the same way that we dealt with gang violence during the crack epidemic, or we focused on police on the streets that intimately knew the neighborhoods and the neighborhood's new them and the information was flowing because there was underlying trust.
9:28 pm
out of that, we said that we have to have a curriculum that focuses on the tactics, the techniques, the behaviors that indicate that somebody has become radicalized to the point of violence. working with police across the country, we have developed a curriculum. we have baited tested it already at fltse, and there is a training module that can be used at home city did not have to travel to fletse. we continue to look for other ways, but we really focus on what is allow local law, and power in local law enforcement to prevent a lone wolf from being successful. >> thank you.
9:29 pm
i was very pleased to hear you mentioned the "see something, say something" campaign. the chairman and i have worked so hard to get that through when it came to the transportation sector, and without the chairman's willingness to stand up against many on the other side of the aisle, we never would have. i hope that means that you will endorse the broader bill that the chairman and i have introduced which would provide immunity from civil lawsuits to individuals who in good faith report suspicious activities to the authorities. it would not be protected if it was not in good faith, because right now the law that we wrote only applies to the transportation sector. >> i would be happy to look at that, senator. >> thank you. >> i only supported senator
9:30 pm
collins' proposal because it happens to be right. [laughter] to beat a dead horse, but let me take one more stab at this. the purpose of an advisory is to signal that something has changed. if we are always on the same constant level of alert, that degrades over time. >> if i might, that was the problem with the color codes. we were always at orange and nobody paid attention. the purpose of the advisory, in my view, is to communicate facts and information so people know what to do. if we elevate the advisory, it will be accompanied by information. what are the facts we can disclose, what people could do to protect themselves and their families, where people go to get updated information, how people can help us help them.
9:31 pm
we're always on alert. that is the elevated base. but now we will be providing additional facts based on intel we received that tells people what to do. >> okay, let's talk about the threat of terrorism intersecting border security. i read some relatively alarming statistics concerning apprehensions at the border. can you talk about the stats? >> we're looking at that right now. one of the things we have seen it is an increase in the category of other than mexican, o.t.m., illegal immigrant apprehensions. in one of the texas sectors, it has gone as high as one in three recently. many are from east india, the country of india, and we are
9:32 pm
trying to get to the bottom of what is the trafficking route. what is the demand, what is happening there. and in this setting, i would just prefer to say that we have seen that trend over the past few months and we have devoted some additional resources to that trend and we're trying to get to the bottom of that. >> have we increased our alert level in light of recent events? >> no. >> do you think we should? >> senator, if i am advised by the advisory board on the intel side that we should, i will do that. >> ok, i did make a trip down to the tucson corridor, down by the border, and you talked about man power and infrastructure. obviously, we want to protect the border and we put a lot of resources and the border patrol, but i'm mad little concerned about customs and border protection agents.
9:33 pm
we're building a lot of infrastructure in dallas. even with the current of the structure, i am concerned about the staffing levels there. can you speak about the staffing levels? >> the supplemental that was passed provided for several hundred more port officers to use on those additional lanes and so forth. they are in the process of being deployed right now. that is another reason why am concerned about our fiscal year 2012 budget. the president has asked those additional port officers beat annualized, that they become part of the base, and that is necessary because we need legal trade it to move, we need to wait times to be shortened. we have been investing in major improvements and enlargements on some of these ports, and that leaves more lanes to cover. we want to keep some of them open more hours, that means more
9:34 pm
coverage. right now, we're watching that carefully. we have been hiring on the port officers side. we want to analyze that. >> i want to say i was impressed with the professionalism and dedication. it was comforting. >> that is great. it is a tough job. >> i was impressed. i was intrigued by senator lieberman's, it's about smart integration policy. could you speak to what your concept of that would be and how that would affect our a legal immigration problem? >> -- how that would affect our illegal immigration problem? >> one of the drawls is the demand for illegal labor. the current sanctions don't give us a great deterrent on the investigation and prosecution side. i think this need to be looked at, as well as the elements
9:35 pm
that we're forced to demonstrate, that justice is forced to demonstrate. i think we should be looking at the different types of the visas that are offered and look at streamlining and enlarging the visa categories that we have, particularly on the temporary visa side. then we have to have some way to parse the population that is already in the country illegally, given we are only given the resources to remove about 400,000 people per year and we want to focus on those or security threats, criminals, fugitives, those kinds of priorities. once we fill those priorities, there are still millions of people left. what are we supposed to do? that is where the tough part comes sen. i believe the president would support a program to get those
9:36 pm
people out of the shadows, identified, and for those who are there, if they can earn their way to citizenship by paying a fine, getting behind people who are attempting to use the system it legally, figure out a way to do that. that has been the hardest part of the issue because that is viewed as amnesty. >> let me go back to the process of securing the border. i assume the first that is measuring. >> that is an initial step, yes. >> what is the next that? >> -- what is the next step? >> i think we need to concurrently be looking at the intersection between interior immigration enforcement and what is going on and immigration generally and what is happening at the border. the border is only one part of
9:37 pm
the problem. we need to be looking at the intersection of that and the border metric at the same time. >> thank you. >> thank you, senator johnson. senator mccain has just arrived. he was not able to be here because senate intelligence and home services were meeting with averell today. -- were meeting what admiral today. we will be asking for another briefing from adam role which oversaw -- from that role which oversaw the actions on sunday. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and i apologize madame secretary, i was at this briefing. i apologize for being late.
9:38 pm
madam secretary, i am interested in your comments about the hardest part and the things we need to do. we have introduced legislation which we believe would be sufficient measures to secure our borders. we have never had on your part or the part of the administration serious sit down negotiations on this issue. now, i understand the president's view on immigration reform and yours, but as i have set up on numerous occasions, have seen this before. i saw it in 1986, when we gave amnesty to 2 million people and said we would secure the borders and we have not. when there are still 171,000 people apprehended in one year crossing our tucson border, in the view of most observers, that
9:39 pm
is not a secure border. do you have a plan that can do that? and sometimes, my friends from other parts of the country and other people think that maybe senator kyl and i and a lot of our constituents, particularly in the southern part of arizona, are a bit intransigent. i received a briefing, two briefings that there are between 100-200 spotters on mountains in southern arizona inside the borders of the united states of america, spotting for drug cartels, and get the drugs to phoenix. then they distribute that. phoenix is the drug distribution center for the nation, with the exception of some parts of the state of texas. now, i do not think that is an acceptable situation.
9:40 pm
perhaps you do. that was not my assessment, that was the assessment given to me, 100-200 spotters sitting on mountains inside the state of arizona, guiding the drug cartels as they bring drugs to phoenix and distribute them throughout the country. that, at least to the constituents i talk to of mine, is not an acceptable situation. and then, and enact i still do in an act ind, -- still cannot understand, i ask, how important is the will of the national guard. "indispensable." that is the words they use. then we are supposed to believe the administration is serious about securing our borders.
9:41 pm
well, i don't think so. so i would hope that, one, we could understand that when any state has 100-200 spotters, members of drug cartels inside their borders, guiding drug cartels as they bring drugs to phoenix, ariz., and distribute them through the nation, with the exception of some parts of texas, but that is not a situation that i should expect my constituents to tolerate. so i guess it is more of a statement that i would seek your response. the border is not secure. the euna sector is secure, -- the umana sector is secure, but there are other areas. we saw a film about three nights
9:42 pm
before. vehicles with flashing lights, right next to the border, right next to the fence, left turn, stop, she is a law that -- some bullets, and some of those fly across the border. and these mass graves are something that has shocked the nation. all that has to do with drugs that are moving into the united states of america. iagain, i would hope that we could have some serious conversations rather than at meetings with various interested groups and see if we cannot sit down and take the necessary measures that are clearly, and our view, that could assure the
9:43 pm
citizens of our country at the border there is a reasonable level of security and maybe move forward in order to achieve that. i would be interested in your response. >> thank you, senator, and your constituency used to be mine. i have spent a lot of my life on the border-related issues and i think we share a lot of the same values and goals. let me take on four of the points you have made and provide some information. at first, with respect to the national guard, they have not been withdrawn. they are at the current force levels that have always been, the administration has not made a final decision about whether to continue to deploy them. one of the issues is who pays for the guard. i have asked our appropriators twice to allow us to reprogram funds to pay for the guard and
9:44 pm
continued to pay for the guard at the border. that reprogramming has been denied. this committee may want to look at that issue. it would be very helpful for sustaining the presence of the guard. again, i asked our appropriators, and it was denied last year. we would not renew that request. on the 10-point plan, many of those things we have been doing. there is a fiscal cost to it. i think your own numbers show it to be over $4 billion. the issue is whether some of the atoms there are the most cost-effective way to reach the common goals that we share. i am going to have that discussion with you and work with you on that. on the spotters, i speak as the former chair in arizona, the
9:45 pm
former u.s. attorney and attorney-general, i know the valley very well. i have asked the border patrol, because i have been down there myself several times in the past few months, where are the spotters i keep hearing about? the answer i receive is dark are a couple of hundred tops from which espada could act -- a receive is there are a couple hundred tops from which espada could act, but they're not there. we are deploying our technology in that area to allow us to pick out more of the individuals involved in the drug trade than we already are. i would be interested in seeing if we could clarify that particular point. last, on the number of illegals coming across the tucson sector, i agree, i don't like that
9:46 pm
number, either. it is dramatically down from what it was. it is down 35% from where it was when i started as secretary, but we're going to continue to put resources into that sector until we drive that number down even further. the part of this hearing that he missed, and that will be happy to set up a private meeting with you about, is developing a real border metric that takes into account apprehensions, typical crime stats, and other measures that give us a better overall sense of what is happening at the border. i think there is a general consensus that the apprehension number coming in and of itself, is not a complete measurement. >> well, thank you, and i am fascinated by your comment that they could not tell you where the spotters are at. they probably cannot tell you
9:47 pm
exactly where they are because otherwise they would get them, but the fact is it that is factually correct. look, it is crazy format -- well, they are there and everybody knows they are there. it for you and your staff to deny they are there is sort of symptomatic to me of the recognition or appreciation of the problems that exist along our border. >> senator, with respect, there is no one who has spent more time working on this error is an issue that i have over the past few years -- - >> there is no one who has spent more time on this arizona issue than i have, madam secretary, and from sheriff's up to the u.s. attorney, there are between 100-200 spotters sitting on mountains in arizona. for you to dispute that is a big problem you have between yourself and them.
9:48 pm
and that needs to be clarified. if that is not true, that is fine with me, but it happens to be true and it is a huge problem, and it also happens to be that phoenix, ariz., in their view and others view it is the distribution center for drugs around this country. maybe you want to deny that, but the fact is that it is, and so, again, if you want to change the matrix, change the matrix, but on the ground in arizona, on the border, we see people still living in an environment that they're not living secure lives. we had witnesses before this committee testified to exactly that, ranchers and shares of the counties along the border. to get, if we're going into this, senator -- >> see, you may not trust the
9:49 pm
word of the sheriffs, and that is fine. but we in arizona trust them because they are the elected law enforcement officials that are there dealing with these issues every single day. again, the facts on the ground, and i know the facts on the ground, and i agree, there have been improvements, and i am grateful for those improvements, but i would argue they have not kept up with the escalation of violence on the other side of the border. and i go back to my original point that i made at the beginning of my comments. i think that it would be at least once for the administration to sit down with us at the border states, not just arizona, but new mexico, texas, california, and see if there is a way to work out a way to get our border secured.
9:50 pm
and maybe then it would be some benefit to all of our constituents. please respond. >> well, senator, look, the she was a lot more complicated. you cannot just -- the issue is a lot more complicated. in my judgment, what we need to do at the border is exactly what we are doing, and more so. it is more manpower, or technology, more infrastructure. it is adding air cover, which we now have across arizona that we did not have before. it is also related to interior enforcement. it is the ability to identify who is in our jails in our country illegally, and being able to remove those. the ability to have consequences for all who cross illegally,
9:51 pm
that is important, i grant you that. the yuma sector may not be the best way to achieve that, but that is a discussion we ought to have. i look forward to sitting down with you, going through the plan. we have some options i would want you to consider, as i mentioned to you before. your challenge to me last meeting was what is a border metric. you ask me that question. i said, look, we need to create a metric that makes sense and measures all of these things, and we can include, and probably will, all of the drug activity and so forth. i must say, however, let's not get into a debate because some sheriffs say it is better and some say it is not. we have to look at the entire
9:52 pm
border and create a safe and secure border region. it said that the damage trade and travel can use it. it -- so that safe and secure trade and travel can take place. we have some differences on how we measure and get theire. >> i look forward to sitting down with you on this issue before the election season gets too polarizing, because i think it is important. i think we are on the right track, and i clearly stated there have been improvements, but i think we have more to go. would you indulge me one other comment? >> sure. >> >> and subject, i continue to get complaints from people about this physical pat down. we ought to really kind of work on some type of technology that that would not be necessary for
9:53 pm
our inspectors to go through. it is very invasive, and i have heard all of the reasons for it, but it seems to me in a country like ours we could develop some type of technology that could make something like that unnecessary. some people feel it is really embarrassing and humiliating, and i certainly understand their complaints. >> senator, i understand them as well, and i receive them as well. three things. one, we are working on research and technology. the research cycle is not an immediate cycle, but we are working with national lab and others on better technology. two, i have asked ann tsa is moving to a more risk-based approach on how we screen. part of that will lead to the third point, which is that we want to enlarge a traveler
9:54 pm
program, where they have a biometric card, like we use with pilots, and we're looking at ways to scale that up. >> thank you, madam secretary, and i am looking forward to continuing our spirited dialogue. am i enjoy that, too. -- >> i enjoy that, too. >> i want to thank both of you for the exchange. you both agree that things are better along the border and you both agree they are not good enough, and i think your announcement today that you have directed cbp to develop a new index for judging and reaching conclusions of whether the border is secure and how to make it more secure is very important. beyond your official announcement, in typical
9:55 pm
napolitano style, he said, and i paraphrase, the existing system of judging what security by the number of apprehensions "does not cut it," and the existing definition of operational control at the border does not cut it, either. i agree with you, and i think you have the opportunity now to develop a new standard of border security that is much more accurate and effective and can be a basis for a meeting of minds between people from different perspectives, both on the question of border security and a related question of immigration reform, and i urge you forward. i hope you will engage senator mccain and other members of congress, and the governors, for that matter, from the border states, and if you have room in
9:56 pm
any of those meetings for a guy from connecticut, i would be honored to be invited. >> we will work on that, senator. >> this is a really important question, and it ties directly to other important questions of immigration reform that senator mccain has raised. we still, in my opinion, have a chance in this session to try to achieve some significant improvement of border security and at smart immigration reform. and i hope we try every opportunity to do that. the two of you are critical and that, and i think you both. >> as joe biden would say, from your lips, to god's ears.
9:57 pm
madam secretary, thank you for your commitment and hard work. we're focusing on deficit reduction and cutting spending, looking at raising taxes, i focus more on it a third and fourth idea, and it the third is increasing growth, smart investments that can be commercialized with research and development and create products and innovations we can sell around the world. my other focus is on creating a culture of thrift in the federal government that would replace a culture of what some might say spendthrift. i like to say that everything i do i know i can do better. i think the same is true of most of us. i think we need to look in every
9:58 pm
nook and cranny of the federal government, to ask the question of discretionary or entitlement, is there a better way to get results or maybe it better results for not much more money. in the spirit of that thought, i like to ask about the department of homeland security secure border initiative. it was created to bolster the southern border, with a variety of high-tech technologies, physical infrastructure, and border enforcement officers. the program was designed to secure 700 miles of the southern border by i think the year 2005, at a cost of close to $900 million. i think this included the new metal fists -- the new metal fencing and various surveillance technologies. i am told of the 700 promised
9:59 pm
miles of various surveillance equipment, we have deployed it 50 or so miles of the anticipated 700, at a price of about $750 million. at least this is what i have been told perry i understand that you have frozen that program, the secure border initiative, to try to identify and more cost-effective way forward. i want you to discuss with us how we can get a better bang from the taxpayer's pocket and what we ought to do going forward. >> the so-called sbi-net program i froze. it was presumed to death one fixed technology to use across
10:00 pm
the border at tremendous cost. we stopped at one small sector, and we have done it is said let's purchase off the shelf mobile technologies that are available now that we can equip our people with now you will have different types of geography, different populations, and so forth. every sector has to develop their technology plan for how they will use the funds freed up by not investing in the system. i cast for the technology plan from arizona because it had the greatest need. we are making those procurements now and then we are moving over the course of the year. >> how will you measure success? >> it is the question that has dominated the hearing today. a number of ways, one of which
10:01 pm
is apprehensions of individuals and drug traffickers. one is the ability to increase, to be a force multiplier so that we are able once we spot somebody to immediately go out and pick them up. those are the kinds of things that would be added to the max. >> ok. about every day, we see more violence along the border with mexico. i think we are partly to blame for that. it is the exchange of drugs for a balanced -- guns. i was down there a little over a year ago. in california and i talked to a number of the folks who were
10:02 pm
working down there at. we are having patrol agents being shot at more frequently, patrolling some of the harshest terrains on our continent. i think it is a new trend, which is that agents being killed by drug-traffickers and by cartel members. it is also beginning to become less safe for americans traveling to some of these cities across the border. in your opinion, could you describe for us your assessment of the escalating violence along the border? has this violence officially spilled over into the united states? >> the states of northern mexico have been experiencing a serious increase in violent crimes,
10:03 pm
especially homicides, over the last several years related to the determination by the president to take on the cartels. cartel on cartel violence as they fight over limited territory. it has resulted -- it has spread to other states. when i say a safe and secure border region, that border on our side, we have about 7 million people live along the border, we have a much higher number that live in mexico along the border. we are really working with mexico. we met with their leadership
10:04 pm
last friday. our men and women in the border patrol have very dangerous work and we are supporting them, making sure they are well- equipped and well trained. you have given us the resources to help do that and that is very, very important break while we have had isolated incidences of violence from northern mexico, if you take a step back and look at everything, the police reports, the numbers, they did not indicate that we have a plague of spillover violence. >> thank you. can i ask you for one more minute? would you take a man and to give me some good takeaways from what you -- would take a minute to give me some good takeaways? >> a summation of your argument.
10:05 pm
>> it is a great job. >> would you say that is the greatest job you've had so far? >> i would say that i have always had great jobs. >> so have the rest of us. >> we talked about osama bin laden and we have current and seamless exchange of intel right now and if i am so advised, i will raise the advisory level, but i've not been so biased. -- have not been so advised. we have different strategies at both borders, but they continue to be works in progress. we cannot deal with border security without dealing with
10:06 pm
interior enforcement and immigration reform. they are related. >> good. thank you so much. >> thank you, senator prate madam secretary, thank you for your testimony. my confidence in you continues to rise. >> thank you. >> i will keep the record of the hearing opened for 15 days for additional questions and statements. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
10:07 pm
>> president obama visited lower manhattan tomorrow to lay a wreath at the ground zero and meet with 9/11 families. we will have live coverage throughout the day. later, the state department's counterterrorism coordinator testified at a house foreign affairs subcommittee hearing. he will be talking about security threats in europe and asia. watch the hearing beginning at
10:08 pm
2:30 eastern time. >> now available, the congressional directory, a complete guide to the first session of the congress great new and returning house and senate members with contact information. information on the white house, supreme court justices, and governors. order online. >> at a nato a news conference today in brussels, secretary rasmussen congratulated the u.s. on the killing of osama bin laden and said nato must increased cooperation with pakistan in order to strengthen efforts against terrorism along its border with afghanistan. he talked about the ongoing nato operations in libya. this is 35 minutes.
10:09 pm
>> september 11 attacks on the united states were at an attack on all. this week, the united states marked a significant success for the security of all allies and the security of the nation's which have joined us in our efforts to combat the scourge of global terrorism. i congratulated president obama and all those involved in the operation against the founder of al qaeda. the man who was directly responsible for the loss of thousands of innocent lives on september 11. and other terrorist atrocities
10:10 pm
of ross -- across the world. you may ask, what does that mean into nato? what does that mean to our mission in afghanistan? my message is clear. we will stay the course. international terrorism continues to pose a direct threat to the security of our nation's across the world. our reason for being in afghanistan is clear. our strategy will not change. nato allies and partners will continue the mission to ensure that afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for extremism, but develops
10:11 pm
security. with a gradual transition, we had entered a new phase. that transition process remains fully on track and with our afghan partners, we aim to complete it by 2014. nato stands for the values of freedom, democracy, and humanity. those values that osama bin laden wanted to defeat. we will continue to stand for those values from afghanistan to libya.
10:12 pm
the democratic upheavals across north africa and the middle east show a clear rejection of extremism and indiscriminate attacks against civilians. it is now just over a month since nato took command of all military operations to protect civilians in libya. that is our mandates and we are fulfilling that mandate. nato aircraft have flights -- have flown over at a consistent rate of more than 1000 per week. almost half has been a strike -- nato pilots are striking consistently with care and precision.
10:13 pm
in ms. ronstadt, and in other parts of this vast country -- -- in this vast country, we have protected large numbers of civilians against gaddafi's regime. we have steadily degrading his ability to have it -- harm his own people. nato is saving lives in libya. we are making sure that critical capabilities can no longer be used to launch an sustained attacks against cities and civilians. we are undermining the regime's ability to control those brutal attacks from bunkers and communication centers. we are reducing the libyan regime ability to sustain,
10:14 pm
supply, and reinforce its forces in the field. because of the -- gaddafi cannot buy the arms that he wants to continue its attack against civilians. because of the no-fly zone, he cannot strike at men, women, and children from the sky. because of the skill and courage of our pilots, he can no longer use formations of heavy armor to threaten cities as he did to benghazi before operation began. the nature of the conflict has changed significantly in a month. what has not changed, and will not change, it is the result of nato and our partners.
10:15 pm
-- resolve of nato and our partners. our job is to protect civilians life as the united nations security council mandated. our task is clear, to make sure that nobody can threaten or attack civilians or civilian populated areas anywhere in libya. our goals are clear. we have set a three clear military objectives. first, all attacks and threats against civilians must cease. second, all forces that threaten civilians, including snipers and mercenaries, must verifiably return to their bases. 3, free and on injured -- free
10:16 pm
access must be guaranteed to all those in libya and who needed aid. that is what nato and foreign ministers agreed in berlin, and that is what we will continue to do for as long as necessary. some of the may be asking how long that will take. that is a question which nato alone cannot answer. but it is hard to imagine that civilians against will cease while gaddafi remains
10:17 pm
in power. we have always stated quite clearly that there can be no military solution to this crisis. that is why we are fully engaged our regional and international partners as we strive for a political solution to this conflict, in response to the legitimate aspirations of the people in libya. i will be joining the contact toup's in rome tomorrow brief my colleagues on paramilitary operations. -- on our military operations.
10:18 pm
we will discuss the way for word on the political front to find a solution that meets the aspirations of the libyan people. we are planning our parts to fulfill the united nations mandate to save lives in libya and to help the people of libya shape their own future. i am not ready to take your questions. >> i would be grateful if you could turn your mobile devices to silent perhaps, and we can start over there. the wall street journal. >> a few weeks ago, one of your colleagues give an estimate of the degrading of gaddafi's forces by 30%. i wonder if you are able to
10:19 pm
update us on that. specifically, what has nato capabilitiesce the of the gaddafi forces? can you be as specific as you can? what kind of briefing which you give tomorrow to your colleagues in a romp about what the -- in wrong about what the -- about what nato has achieved? >> i am not able to give you the updated figures, but i can assure you that we continue to make progress. we have hit important military targets, tanks, armored vehicles, rocket launchers,
10:20 pm
command and control centers. all these military facilities could be used, and have been used, to attack civilians in libya. every week, every day, we make new progress, hit important targets, but i am not able to quantify the degree to which we have degraded gaddafi's military capabilities. it is much weaker now than it was when our operation started. >> bloomberg.
10:21 pm
>> a question first on libya. the nature of the conflict has changed significantly since nato took over. does this also require a change in tactics, and given that many of the most easily recognizable targets have been taken out on the gaddafi forces have become more adept at evading detection? would you see a need for new tactics, such as the use of more helicopters? on afghanistan, you mentioned the goal of eliminating afghanistan as a terrorist haven. you did not mention pakistan in your opening remarks. what concerns do you have, given the criticism that has been leveled at the united states for not involving the pakistanis in the raid on osama bin laden's
10:22 pm
compound? >> on tactics comment -- on tactics, the gaddafi it regime has changed its tactics by hiding its military units in populated areas, by using human shields. of course, we have had to adapt our tactics as well. we are making steady progress. in regards to pakistan, it goes without saying that it takes a
10:23 pm
positive engagement of pakistan to ensure a long-term solution to the conflicts in afghanistan. this is also the reason why we have invested some efforts in developing a partnership with pakistan and recent events do not change our strategy in that respect. on the contrary, i think it just underlines how important it is to engage pakistan positively. we will proceed on that path and continue our efforts to strengthen relations between nato and pakistan. >> secretary-general, do you
10:24 pm
welcome the operation -- with all the details that we know now, would you have preferred that the outcome be that he was captured alive? >> i think the bottom line here is that the founder of al qaeda has been responsible for the death of thousands of innocents, and i think it has been
10:25 pm
justified to carry out this operation against timber, it -- against him, and i do hope that this very successful operation will lead to undermining one of the world's most dangerous terrorist networks. and i think that is what counts. for a huge majority of people across the globe. >> ap? >> associated press. secretary general, i am sure you have seen or heard the remarks come at are you sensing any -- remarks, are you sensing any the
10:26 pm
take from the allies in terms of the operation? if forces returned to their bases, is there any possible way that you can foresee an end to this operation would gaddafi still in power? >> we clearly defined the military objectives when foreign ministers met in berlin. the three very clear objectives are the following trade first, stop attacks against civilians great second, withdrawal of forces to their bases. third, guaranteed free access for humanitarian assistance. these are the military objectives. i added to that -- it is hard to the attacks against
10:27 pm
civilians in libya will cease as long as gaddafi remains in power. that part of it is not included explicitly end -- in the three military objectives we have defined a great -- defined. it is the reason why it is important to include the political dimension. all of the international political pressure on the pataki regime -- gaddafi regime to ensure that gaddafi steps down and the regime allows a peaceful transition to democracy and accommodation of the legitimate demands of the libyan people.
10:28 pm
that is how we have defined this. and i do not sense any fatigue on the contrary, we have just had a meeting today at its headquarters and the participants -- it has been a reaffirmation of the strong commitment to our operation. >> [inaudible] i just wonder if you are concerned at all about talks of a deadline for the military operation. >> what we have decided is exactly what we defined in berlin when foreign ministers mapped -- met. we did find three very clear military objectives.
10:29 pm
when these objectives are met, the mission is accomplished. that is a strong desire for all of us to see the mission accomplished. i am not able to fix a date when the the three objectives will be fulfilled. but its objectives guide our operation. an agreement among the participants that the three objectives defined the links and the scope of our operation. >> do you feel that nato is
10:30 pm
doing enough to loosen the grip on the outskirts? when the foreign minister of -- are you concerned? as the libyan operation is concerned, i believe that we have the necessary mandate to carry out our mission. the no-fly zone and the maritime
10:31 pm
as far as osama bin laden is concerned, it does not mean that operation afghanistan will change. we will stay the course in afghanistan. as i stated before, international terrorism still
10:32 pm
poses a threat to security in our country's as well as stability are around the world. ies as wellountr as stability around the world. we shall remain in afghanistan in order to carry out our mission. , the transition process will still comply with the road map which we tabled in lisbon in november 2010. >> on libya, that you have the contact group meeting tomorrow
10:33 pm
and the rebel opposition and libya have suggested that they would like to have some money. they spoke of billions of dollars to support their mission. hillary clinton said in berlin that it might be a good idea to get some money from the frozen money that gaddafi had to give it to the rebels. what is your position? a would it help to fulfill your mission at the rebels were equipped with some more money? there was a discussion on going about whether it was an illegal basis that he was killed? what is your position. ? >> on libya, and the financial aspects, that goes beyond the nato operation.
10:34 pm
we are there to fill the u.n. mandate. i am definitely in favor of taking all necessary measures to put the maximum pressure on the gaddafi regime. with the aim to protect civilians in libya. i do believe that it would be protection of civilians and libya is gaddafi was forced to step down. it would be helpful to make sure that the opposition can be financed appropriately. >> what happened in pakistan
10:35 pm
when it was found out that osama bin laden was leaving -- was living the good life, proved that what people have been saying for a long time -- that pakistan is the real problem is correct. how will they to go on fighting in afghanistan given that if osama bin laden's death does not put an end to terrorism, there is a safe haven, but that statement is in pakistan. isn't that a basic contradiction that plagues the intervention of nato in
10:36 pm
afghanistan? >> if i understand your question, i would say that we must engage pakistan positively. in order to solve the conflict in afghanistan. admittedly, there are security issues in pakistan.
10:37 pm
we have urged the authorities to step up their war on terror and extremism. especially in the region bordering afghanistan. progress has been made, and i do believe that more progress can be made still. we need to actively cooperate with the government's of pakistan and the military with a view to their
10:38 pm
stepping up their war on terror in the region bordering afghanistan. i do understand the questions raised by what happened on sunday, however, my confusion is quite clear. we need to strengthen. >> the situation remains miserable and precarious great -- precarious. why has not 8 -- amid a been able to do more to take out to his rockets?
10:39 pm
how is seat resupplying the troops with weapons, food with nato planes overhead 24/7? >> first of all, i think you are right. there is more work to do. as i have outlined today, during a bit more than one month since we took over, significant progress has been made. with regard to taking out a critical of military capability so that it has become much more difficult for gaddafi to attack his own people.
10:40 pm
we cannot prevent all attacks, so we have to say it it's great when he uses diapers, -- have to save it. when he uses snipers and uses of military units in populated areas, and we are very careful not to cause civilian casualties, he is still able to attack civilians. but i can assure you that we have done a lot and we will continue to do our utmost to take out all of those critical military capabilities where possible. >> german public radio.
10:41 pm
there of been at least two instances where there have -- where there have been interpreted as direct attacks on gaddafi. those were attacks against civilians, but masterminded and plantigrade what is the definition of command and control center of the regime? is every building were gaddafi is present and has access to a telephone and can give orders by definition a command and control? >> i do not want to go into operational details. secondly, i can reaffirm that we target military capabilities
10:42 pm
solely, including command and control centers. i have confidence in our military commanders and their ability and capability to identify military targets. >> thank you very much. >> the democratic national committee elects a new chairman. the house debates a bill to restrict abortion funding. the white house announces its decision not to release photos of osama bin laden after he was killed. >> on tomorrows "washington journal, we will discuss the threats posed by terrorism following the death of osama bin laden would congresswoman
10:43 pm
loretta sanchez. "washington journal begins live at 7:00 eastern. >> this weekend, the origins of government from early tribal societies to the first modern states in china and europe. conservative blogger discusses his transformation from liberal to self-described conservative cultural war year. david gold fields on the role of religion leading up to the civil war. look for the complete schedule at booktv.org. >> you can access our programming anytime but this c- span radio and i -- iphone application. you can also listen to our
10:44 pm
signature and interview programs each week. >> the democratic national committee today formally elected congressmen debbie wasserman schultz as its chairman. this is an hour and 15 minutes. >> currently, there are 440 who were serving. our core and, therefore, will be 221. attending this meeting, we have 196 members joining us by
10:45 pm
telephone, we have 63 members in the room, we have 49 members survive submitted their proxy's for a total of 371. we do have a quorum. [applause] i am so pleased that this and busy nastic group of democrats -- enthusiastic group of democrats. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, madame secretary.
10:46 pm
i want to make a quick announcement. the executive director had a family emergency so he is unable to join please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers. i would like to the knowledge all the staff, the entrance, the volunteers, and the supporters of the dnc, for also here this afternoon. [applause] ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this historic meeting of the democratic national committee. we meet today as democrats, but most of all, as americans carry it we meet at a crucial moment when our nation needs leaders who are focused on national security, economic security, and personal security. we are grateful beyond words for the heroism of the navy seals and for all of our men and women in the armed forces who
10:47 pm
worked with out ceasing to keep our country safe. [applause] many of their names are not known, but their deeds will never be forgotten. we pray for the safe return of our service men and women in afghanistan, iraq, and all across the world to risk their lives to defend our own. we also think of our country men and women in our nation's heartland were putting their lives and their communities back together in the aftermath of floods, tornadoes, and other natural disasters.
10:48 pm
i know what they're going through. i know that all americans open our hearts and will open our hands to help them get back on their feet. we never forget our fellow citizens who are looking for work, but cannot find it. we know there are millions of americans who are working part time, but need to work full- time. we know that americans are working harder and smarter than ever before and they need and deserve a raise in their pay. before president obama started on this job, the economy was bleeding 700,000 jobs a month. and now we are gaining jobs, although it is still not enough.
10:49 pm
when this president took office, the nation was on the brink of a depression, and now we're on the threshold of a recovery. [applause] we know that none of us, especially the president or vice president, will be satisfied until every willing worker enjoys the opportunity for a steady job would secure benefits and a chance to dance. the commit -- to advance. it is what sees us through the ups and downs of our nation's politics and challenges of our nation's history. over the past week, we have seen what it means to have a president who is up to the job in every way. [applause]
10:50 pm
to see him laughing and smiling at the white house correspondents' dinner on saturday night. you would never know that he knew that history would be made on sunday nights. president obama displays a grace under pressure that recalls all of this great predecessors. while his harshest critics were consumed with questioning his natural born citizenship, president obama was quietly executing his role as commander- in-chief. this present displays the quiet strength and sense of perspective better times demand. i am proud to have served as the
10:51 pm
chair of the democratic national committee under this president. [applause] not bad for a former intern. he trained me well. and i am proud to support president obama in 2012. [applause] today, i am proud to support it and pass my ballot to our next chairwoman, debbie wasserman schultz. [applause] she will lead our party to victory in 2012, reelected president, elected more democrats to the united states house of representatives, the senate. we are going to win in 2012.
10:52 pm
[applause] one month ago, you honored me by asking me to serve as interim chairman. you are looking at one the temporary worker who is happy to return to our job. you know me -- and i know you -- the new democrats is a lifetime commitment -- being a democrat is a lifetime commitment. i am here because the democratic party nurture to me, and help me work my way to a life beyond my greatest dreams. i am here because when i was
10:53 pm
four, five, eight years of age, a democratic president and congress enacted civil rights and declared war on poverty. i am proud -- i am a product of america's public schools. [applause] in progress and it -- i am a proud graduate of lsu. i remember my father who worked construction and had to take a job as a janitor. my mother was trained as a teacher, but worked most of her life as a domestic. we sacrificed everything to give their kids a better tomorrow. when i say that politics must make a difference, i remember that i worked in my first
10:54 pm
campaign when i was only 9 years old. a candidate who promised a playground for the kids in my community, and we made sure that he kept that promise. as i return to my responsibilities, as vice chair for voter registration and participation, i can never forget what happened to my candidate in the year of 2000 when we won the popular vote, but lost the presidency. i know that our next national chairwoman is a pride of south florida. debbie wasserman schultz has ever forgotten that national shame and will fight as long as she can and as long as it takes to make sure that every american has a right to vote and has the votes counted. [applause]
10:55 pm
i first got to know debbie, and i am proud of that. we are the party of opportunity, not privileged. we're the party of progress, not gridlock. i was proud to take the torch from our former chair, who was running for the united states senate in his home state of virginia. [applause] he is running against a rival the was rejected by the voters six years ago, and they will reject them again. he is the next united states senator from the great state of virginia.
10:56 pm
we know of his great accomplishment. he has been a tireless fighter for the middle class. to me, the window into his heart and isolde is that he took a year off from law school to serve as a missionary in honduras, and years later, he served as a fair housing advocate in richmond, va. he is a man of faith and a man of conscience. today, we pass this great torch. we pass this tortured with joy and gladness -- we pass this torch with joy and gladness. debbie is a democrat through and through. she is a warrior -- and we need a war year for women's health.
10:57 pm
debbie is a descendant from that. windows republicans decide to declare war on women's health, they must have forgotten that they were messing with debbie wasserman schultz. [applause] she has battled cancer herself, but every fiber of her being, she cares for our mothers and our grandmothers, our daughters and our sisters, and she will be guests in the fight for women to help, not because it is easy or convenient, but because it is decent and right. it is no secret that we come from different places, but our hearts are in the same place. you know i grew up in a household of nine kids and had two working parents. i'm glad our next national chairwoman is a working mom of three young children.
10:58 pm
she has a nice husband, too. [applause] i saw him with his tux on and he looks pretty good. when it comes to working families, she gets it. she understands. what ordinary people are fighting each and every day. she knows how to multitask. this is the 21st century, and if you do not know how american families live now, you have no business trying to lead us into the future. i'm going to let you in on a
10:59 pm
little secret, she grew up in new york. she is a fan of paul simon. i am from new orleans. but there is one classic rocker who hails from florida and speaks to what is in my soul today. as tom petty puts it, "i won't back down. no, i won't back down. " [applause] here is what you should know about her leadership. she will stay underground. she will not back down. she will not back down.

117 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on